September 23, 2012


More articles by »
Written by: Mitch Salem
Tags: , , , ,


Welcome to THE SKED’s live Emmy Awards blog (all times Pacific)…

5:03:  The Jimmy Kimmel getting punched sketch won’t displace anyone’s memories of Jimmy Fallon’s triumphant open a couple of years ago, but there was a funny gag for the Reality Host nominees.

5:08:  Kimmel’s best monologue line:  advising people that after the cancellation of Luck, everyone should stay away from the sliders at the HBO after-party.  As for the rest, at least it was short.

5:12:  Louie C.K. looks like he’s still trying to get David Letterman’s job.

5:14:  Anyone who thought the Modern Family train was going to slow down… it’s not.  And even among the Family nominees, the voters chose the safest route, repeating last year’s choice of Eric Stonestreet.

5:20:  Any Emmy Awards where Louie C.K. wins one is all right with me.

5:22:  The Andy Griffith meets Breaking Bad bit must have sounded better on paper.

5:25:  THE SKED is 0 for 2 on predictions, but Julie  Bowen was our “Should Win” for Comedy Supporting Actress, so we don’t feel so bad.

5:31:  Even though they’re making a joke out of it, you can tell the Emmys are on ABC and not NBC because Matthew Perry got the low-level job of introducing the presenters who won the Comedy Guest Actor/Actress prizes last week.

5:33:  Modern Family rolls on, but the mini-clips of Comedy writer and director nominees (guest star Dustin Hoffman!) are cool.

5:37:  And this is why it keeps winning:  the Modern Family pre-tape featuring Evil Lily is the funniest thing of the night so far.

5:40:  Jon Cryer winning Comedy Actor is the first genuine surprise of the night.  Winners often appear “shocked,” but Cryer really may be–and with good reason.  A voter gesture of support for the show surviving its Charlie Sheen madness?

5:46:  The smart money was right:  Julia Louis-Dreyfus took home her 3rd Emmy.  The shtick with Amy Poehler (who, dammit, should have won) was cute, though.  Louis-Dreyfus also gets the distinction of being the first winner played off by the orchestra.  And now it’s time for Reality…

5:52:  One day people will tell their grandchildren that yes, there was a year when The Amazing Race didn’t win for Best Reality Series.  And those children, they will marvel.

6:00:  Big Bang Theory provided a painless intro of the accountants.  And 2 points to Seth McFarlane for doing Stewie’s voice when he realized he was standing at the wrong mike.  Was Tom Bergeron’s win a surprise?  They give Emmys to reality show hosts?  Who knew?  On to some real categories:  Drama.

6:05:  Having Claire Danes give the Drama Supporting Actor award is a reminder that Mandy Patinkin’s exclusion for Homeland was an outrage.  It’s sad that Gus Fring won’t be commemorated with an Emmy, but Aaron Paul is consistently brilliant on Breaking Bad, and he’s earned his prize.

6:10:  Tracy Morgan “passed out” on stage–another idea that must have sounded funnier than it is.

6:15:  Homeland wins Drama writing!  Is this the start of a trend, or a consolation prize?

6:17:  Look, we love Maggie Smith.  Everyone loves Maggie Smith.  But it would have been OK if she didn’t win this time.

6:22:  Giancarlo Esposito is the other Matthew Perry, presenting Guest winners so they can present a real award.  A coincidence that like Perry, Esposito is currently starring in a new NBC show?

6:25:  The voters are really spreading around the drama awards tonight, with Directing going to Boardwalk Empire.

6:27  The hey-it’s-not-really-egotistical-because-it’s-satire self-salute to Kimmel falls very flat.

6:30:  IS THIS HOMELAND’S NIGHT??  Damien Lewis beating Bryan Cranston and Jon Hamm is a stunner, and how can Claire Danes lose?  Happiest execs of the night:  the ones at Showtime, where Homeland premieres in exactly a week.

6:40:  And of course Danes does win, perhaps the least surprising but definitely most deserved award of the night.  Watching Danes on Homeland last season was like observing an acting legend unfolding before our eyes.  But the actual award for Best Drama won’t come for another hour, as we switch now to Variety.

6:45:  Louie C.K. wins another Emmy!  This time for writing his comedy stand-up special, which despite being a solid hour of nothing but comedy, is somehow considered “variety” and not “comedy.”  Meanwhile, a crawl at the bottom of the screen says Ricky Gervais will be on in 4 minutes.  Is that a warning?

6:50:  Gervais’ joke about the ignominy of presenting the Variety Special Directing award is a good one.  Plus he has the best ad-lib of the night when a voice inexplicably booms over the speakers:  “I’m an athiest, and that concerns me.”

6:58:  The Daily Show wins its 10th Emmy, and that well-deserved honor will be obscured forever by the twitchy finger of the ABC censor who meant to bleep the word “fucking” in Jon Stewart’s acceptance speech and hit the word before it instead.

7:02:  Welcome to Movies/Miniseries, after Kimmel’s blah post-losing bit.

7:07:  Next to Danes, Jessica Lange’s Supporting Actress win for American Horror Story is the night’s least surprising.  When you’re a 2-time Oscar winner, you can eat as much scenery as you want.

7:12:  Wouldn’t it be great if one TV awards show didn’t have the president of the Academy come out for a bore?  At least they kept it short.

7:15:  Tom Berenger, another predictable win.  Berenger looks like he could use some air conditioning, but a gracious speech (until he’s played off).

7:18:  Time for the roll-call of the dead.  Introduced nicely by Ron Howard with a salute to Andy Griffith.  Another classy touch:  the late MaWrvin Hamlisch’s “The Way We Were” accompanying the montage, which ended with Dick Clark, as it probably had to–although the clip of Harry Morgan from MASH would have been a better final note.

7:28:  A double-barreled win for HBO’s Game Change, both Danny Strong’s smart script and of course Julianne Moore’s brilliant Sarah Palin.   Someone cue FOX News to start accusing the Emmys of being unamerican.

7:35:  The Lifetime promo for its Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton TV movie doesn’t let Lindsay Lohan deliver a semi-clear line of dialogue until the very end… and that one fragment of a sentence is enough to make us fear the worst.

7:37:  Jay Roach did a good job directing Game Change, but the Movie/Miniseries Directing Emmy should have gone to Kevin Reynolds for Hatfields & McCoys, exceptional both visually and as storytelling.

7:39:  Kevin Costner was the year’s great comeback story, a star again thanks to TV.  His Hatfields & McCoys performance was his best in a long, long time.  His speech went on just a little bit too long, though–an Emmy really doesn’t have much to do with the Olympics, man.

7:42:  We’ve finally reached the part of the evening where we circle back to the major categories and give out the best show awards.

7:45: Who’s starring in a new ABC series?  Andre Braugher’s starring in a new ABC series!

7:46:  Game Change takes the award for Movies/Miniseries, so the conspiracy theorists can blast HBO and the liberal media for depriving Hatfields & McCoys of its due.

7:48:  A historic moment:  Homeland wins the Best Drama Emmy, giving Showtime its first giant win in the network’s history.  The mantle, for the moment at least, passes from HBO– and also from Mad Men.  The series blew the Academy’s socks off, and rightly so–it had one of the best first seasons in TV history.  And good for Howard Gordon, who vowed to keep talking until they played him off.

7:50:  A coincidence that ABC kept Best Comedy for last, a category where its Modern Family is favored to win?

7:56:  And what do you know, it did win.  Ah well, we had our surprises on the Drama side.  Lena Dunham will have to wait for her Emmy honors.  But even the network’s biggest franchise has to bow to getting the late news at 11PM sharp eastern time, so Steve Levitan is cut off in the middle of his acceptance speech.

And so, what kind of night has it been?  A great one for Homeland and Showtime, a mixed one for HBO, which only tasted victory with Game Change and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  A dull one in comedy, broadcast TV’s last stand for awards-caliber work.  Not the step up for Jimmy Kimmel that ABC must have been hoping.

Remember to stick with SHOWBUZZDAILY and THE SKED for coverage of the new TV season, starting bright and early tomorrow!

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."